Under the program, high school students can choose from over 120 countries around the world which span all continents. Participants will be able to live and study in these countries for six months at a stretch. With the ability to live and study in multiple countries, high school students will be prepared for international university entrance exams such a GED (General Education Diploma) or equivalent, and possibly for international college entry exams such as TOEFL, IELTS, or any other global standardized tests. Furthermore, participants get the chance to make new friends in their new country and enjoy regular interaction with their peers in a non-traditional setting.
Participating in an immersion program allows high school students to learn English at its simplest: by speaking the language! Many of the students I spoke with did not even know that they were conversing in English in most of the conversations they had with their peers! By immersing themselves in the culture, students receive a thorough education in basic conversation skills as well as the important norms and language of their host countries.
In addition to acquiring spoken English, high school students get exposure to the various cultures of their host countries. In many cases, these students will live and study in two or three of them. Students also experience an awakening of their religious and civic identity as they witness the differences between the people in their host countries and the people back home. Through my program, students became immersed in the practice of their religion while also learning the history of their religion and the intricacies of its practices.
My experience as a coach has shown that school students learn the most when they are allowed to engage in real-life situations. It is not enough to read a few books or attend a few classes; real-life situations are critical in learning. My students have benefited from my coaching and have used it to propel their academic performance and their personal growth. For instance, one participant, now a junior in high school, was able to use his knowledge of chemistry to solve a problem when he found out that he was allergic to a substance in a laboratory test. Through this crisis learning experience, he gained insight and understanding of how chemicals and substances interact in our bodies.
Students who know how to communicate with others in a language other than English benefit from my teaching methodology. Since I teach these subjects through my own native language, my students are more comfortable learning with me than if they were studying in their own environment. In addition, my students are free to choose their schedules. This enables them to complete their courses at times that are convenient for them.
I also facilitate opportunities for my students to travel abroad and to immerse themselves in the culture of their host countries. Through my trips, students learn about food traditions, weather, and other relevant aspects of their hosts’ lives. In so doing, they become more knowledgeable about the countries they visit.
One of the most important things that students gain through my program is good communication skills. Through the experiences that they have in their home country, students will develop the ability to listen effectively and learn languages very quickly. They will also acquire great critical thinking skills. Through my teaching method, students are also taught how to communicate effectively using both spoken and written language. With a little research and with the assistance of a global immersion program, students can benefit greatly from taking part in this exciting program.